Baker Roofing: 100 Years of ‘Always Good Work’

Baker Roofing Co., a full-service building envelope contractor, was founded in 1915 in Raleigh, N.C., by William Prentiss Baker. At the time of its founding, Baker Roofing employed only a handful of workers at its Davie Street address in downtown Raleigh. Since its founding, the company has grown to become one of Raleigh’s largest employers. In addition, Baker Roofing’s footprint stretches across the Southeast with offices spanning six states and 18 cities. In fact, at the beginning of 2015, it opened offices in Orlando and Jacksonville, Fla.

Whether you ask a new employee or one of the many employees who have been working at Baker Roofing for decades, they will give the same resounding response that Baker Roofing stakes its reputation, growth and business on its 100-year-old promise of “Always Good Work”.

Whether you ask a new employee or one of the many employees who have been working at Baker Roofing for decades, they will give the same resounding response that Baker Roofing stakes its reputation, growth and business on its 100-year-old promise of “Always Good Work”.

The company continues to be family-owned and operated by W.P. Baker’s grandsons, brothers W. Prentiss Baker III, chairman and co-owner, and Frank Baker, vice chairman and co-owner. Prentiss recollects the company’s founding, “When my grandfather founded the company, he did so with the desire to be the best roofing contractor possible, but I wonder if he ever imagined it would grow into the organization it is today.”

Baker Roofing’s humble, yet confident, beginnings were displayed in its original promise to its clients. Frank Baker describes the foundation for the company’s growth: “When Granddad founded the company, it was during a time in our nation’s history that offered many hurdles for a new business to overcome. Despite this, when he opened the shop, he proudly displayed a sign that’s promise endures to this day: ‘We shall do good work, at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always good work.’”

This year, Baker Roofing celebrates 100 years of upholding the promise W.P. Baker made in 1915. Although the company has grown to employ more than 1,000 people and offer specialty services beyond roofing, like renewable energy and historic renovations, the legacy of “Always Good Work” has never left the DNA of the organization. “As we grow as an organization, the culture of ‘Always Good Work’ continues to drive so much of what we do each and every day,” says Mark Lee, Baker Roofing’s president. “From Nashville, Tenn., to Orlando, Fla., project safety to quality control, multi-megawatt solar systems to residential roof repairs, we will never outgrow or outpace our enduring commitment to the foundation laid 100 years ago.”

Whether you ask a new employee or one of the many employees who have been working at Baker Roofing for decades, they will give the same resounding response that Baker Roofing stakes its reputation, growth and business on its 100-year-old promise of “Always Good Work”.

Learn More about Baker’s 100 Years of History

More information, including a video, about Baker’s 100 years of history and celebration can be found on Baker Roofing‘s website at AlwaysGoodWork.com.

PHOTO: Baker Roofing Co.

Nashville, Tenn., Begins Revitalization of Its City Center with a New Convention Space that Features a Truly Unique Roof

It isn’t often that a nightmare becomes a pleasant reality. Andy Baker, vice president of Raleigh, N.C.- based Baker Roofing, recalls the year he spent as project manager for the roofing of the new Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn., as one of his most challenging jobs. “The logistics, a tight spot downtown, the size of the project and everything that goes along with that—thousands of people trying to work and everyone needs their material in that area at the same time. Even the unique shape of the building made it hard,” Baker remembers. “We’re glad it’s done and we can look back on it now and say: ‘Wow! We did that.’”

The Music City Center was built to be the catalyst for more development in the SoBro neighborhood of Nashville, Tenn. It is intended to create a diverse economy that won’t be affected if flooding occurs, like in May 2010.

The Music City Center was built to be the catalyst for more development in the SoBro neighborhood of Nashville, Tenn. It is intended to create a diverse economy that won’t be affected if flooding occurs, like in May 2010.

Baker and his crew of up to 50 roofing workers have much to be proud of. The completed project is the largest capital construction project in Nashville’s history and was designed to bring prosperity to the area known as SoBro, or South of Broadway, which was affected by massive flooding in May 2010. The Music City Center lies outside the flood-prone areas and hopefully will be the catalyst for more development, which will create a diverse economy that won’t be affected if another flood occurs.

In addition to the Music City Center’s imaginative design that resembles various musical instruments, the building boasts a number of features that are ideal for a high-profile project. Many of these features are located in the most opportune of places—the roof. An Energy Star-qualified thermoplastic PVC membrane covers the 643,752-squarefoot roof while a 186,700-square-foot vegetated roof literally mimics the rolling hills of Tennessee’s Highland Rim. The rooftop also hosts a 211-kilowatt solar-power system on the 1-acre area that is over the Grand Ballroom, a rooftop space that resembles an acoustic guitar in shape. Lastly, the roof collects rainwater that is funneled to a 360,000-gallon tank before it is used to irrigate the site and flush hundreds of toilets inside.

Construction Challenges

Baker and his colleagues knew the Music City Center would present many challenges even before work began. “We knew it was going to be a logistical nightmare going in but then you have to live it,” he recalls. “You would think four city blocks would be a large enough area to work from but there were thousands of contractors working and receiving materials at the same time. Trying to keep truck drivers and suppliers happy was difficult. The community was great though; there were a lot of police officers around to direct traffic.”

Baker Roofing's team of up to 50 roofing workers spent one year working on the Music City Center.

Baker Roofing’s team of up to 50 roofing workers spent one year working on the Music City Center.

Installation also proved perplexing because of the roof’s undulating slopes of 1/4:12 to 12:12. Baker likens the rolls to waves and points out in some places they were almost conical in shape. In the areas in which there was no vegetated roof, the crew fastened two layers of 1.7-inch polyisocyanurate insulation followed by 1/4-inch roof board. Then a 60-mil thermoplastic PVC membrane in a light gray color was fully adhered to the assembly. The membrane features a lacquer coating to reduce dirt pickup.

Photos: Keri Baker

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